"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thoughts on Jeremiah

I started reading Jeremiah a couple days ago and am a bit over halfway through it. It really struck me the other day how God was so good to Israel, yet they rejected Him. I found myself feeling sad as I realized how people God loves reject Him even though He has demonstrated His love and faithfulness. And before I start criticizing the Israelites of old, I best remember that I often do the very same thing!

As I read, God's heart ... His emotions stood out to me. He's not an unfeeling God who doesn't care what we do. Just as someone explained to me recently "the reason we apply pressure on our loved one to do right is because we love him." Yes, I understand. I've said the same thing in the past. If we didn't love someone, we wouldn't care if he made unwise choices and ended up hurting and destroying his life. We become involved because we do care and we do love!

Just now I was reading Jeremiah 30 & 31. This verse in chapter 31 really touched me:

20 Is not Ephraim my dear son,
the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him,
I still remember him.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
I have great compassion for him,"
declares the LORD.

I really love that. I can relate to those sentiments of my heart longing for someone or something. Dictionary.com says this about "yearn."

1. to have an earnest or strong desire; long: to yearn for a quiet vacation.
2. to feel tenderness; be moved or attracted: They yearned over their delicate child.

I am so glad God has great compassion and that His heart still is moved towards His erring children.

The other day I was laughing as I read this description of idols from Jeremiah 10. The part about the scarecrows in a melon patch and the idols having to be moved just amused me! But now it just seems rather sad when I think of it. People were -- and still are -- willing to worship and follow useless, man-made things when the Savior wants a relationship with them.

3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.

5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good."

Which leads to
this part of a verse (21) from chapter 30 which was really probing. I'm not sure what it means in its context. Regardless just this phrase jumped out at me and I read it many times.

'... For who is he who will devote himself
to be close to me?'
declares the LORD.

Maybe this stood out to me because here lately I've felt as if God wants me to learn first to wait on Him and second to not think of waiting as wasting time. Time spent with God is never a waste. As I wrote about recently, I need to learn to be satisfied with God and delight in Him. And maybe ask myself if I'm willing to devote myself to getting close to God.

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